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Report: Unemployment Adds 9 Million Uninsured in U.S.
Date:3/16/2011

archers noted.

The most likely to skip care were the uninsured, with 66 percent reporting just that. Among people with insurance -- some of whom had high deductibles -- 31 percent skipped care due to cost, the survey found.

Moreover, out-of-pocket costs continue to soar. According to the report, 49 million working adults spent 10 percent or more of their income on these costs and premiums in 2010, an increase from 31 million in 2001.

In addition, health insurance doesn't cover what it used to. A full 31 percent of insured Americans spent 10 percent or more of their income on health care in 2010, up from 19 percent in 2001.

With rising costs comes more medical debt, the report added. In 2010, 73 million Americans reported they had trouble paying for medical care or were saddled with medical debt. That's up from 58 million in 2005, the researchers pointed out.

These debts have forced 29 million people to use their savings to pay medical bills, while 17 million have put these costs on credit cards and 22 million couldn't afford food, heat and rent due to medical bills. In addition, medical bills forced 4 million into bankruptcy, the researchers found.

Some of these problems will be dealt with by the Affordable Care Act. Already the act prevents insurance companies from denying coverage due to a pre-existing condition, allows people up to age 26 to stay on their parents' insurance plans, gives tax credits to small businesses, has no lifetime limits on benefits, and mandates coverage of some preventive care without co-payments.

When the provisions of the law are fully in effect in 2014, almost all of the currently uninsured will have access to comprehensive health insurance through Medicaid or private health plans. There will also be consumer protections and tax credits for those with low and moderate incomes to help them buy insurance.

In addition, health plans will have to meet a basic benefit standard and will not be al
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